Are Teachers Prepared for Struggling Readers?

Posted by Brainspring on 22nd Oct 2014

Hi everyone,

Does anyone plan to play Ghostbusters Goof-Ups next week?  I thought that would be a fun and scary way to help students correct miscues.  Let me know what you think!


Improving Teacher Awareness and Preparation for Struggling Readers


In the interview from last week, Christine and I both shared that raising teachers’ awareness about dyslexia and struggling readers is one of our main goals.  Teachers must not only be aware of reading difficulties, they must be trained in effective instructional approaches.  Unfortunately, this is not taught in many of the college programs that prepare teachers.  I do not remember learning much about beginning, at-risk or struggling readers when in courses for my education degree..  In fact, I do not remember dyslexia being mentioned at all.


NCTQ Report Shows Many Teachers are not Prepared

According to the National Council on Teacher Quality’s Teacher Prep Report form 2014, 56% of programs do not meet the basic standards for preparing teachers in Early Reading.  Furthermore, only 24% of programs meet basic standards to prepare teachers for Struggling Readers.  This is astounding since the NCTQ assess programs using the findings of the National Reading Panel, which were released in 2000!  Almost 15 years have gone by and still over half of our teacher prep programs are not following the basic guidelines to prepare teachers for beginning and struggling readers.  No wonder teachers often tell me they feel daunted by the task of reaching their struggling readers!


The NCTQ made it clear to me that our teachers are not being properly prepared to address the needs of beginning, at-risk and struggling readers.  It also led me to this question- How prepared do our teachers feel?

To help me answer that question I need your help.  Please take a few moments to fill out this 10 question survey about how you were prepared to help students with reading difficulties.  I made this survey to dig a little deeper into how prepared teachers feel and what kind of preparation they received, so that I can find ways to help more.  I can’t wait to share the results with you.

After you have taken the survey, send it to other teachers you know.  The better we understand where teacher preparation is now, the better we can understand how to improve it!


Also, please comment with your experience going through teacher prep courses.

As a teacher now, looking back, what was truly helpful?  What was missing?  What do you wish you had been better prepared for?


Sorry, I won’t be updating next week because I have a busy schedule of training and learning from many new teachers.  Check back the first week of November for some fresh ideas I picked up!


Happy Halloween

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